Turning Tires Into Georeinforcements (Crowdfund It!)

Highway-MSEHow many tires have you gone through in your life? Now, multiply that by however many million or even billion people are also driving and replacing tires? Clearly, with so many tires being dumped every day, we need to find ways to re-use them. Unfortunately, many are never used again. Approximately 300 million tires are worn out each year in the US. About 50% of those are repurposed in a truly beneficial way. Another 40% or so are converted into fuel and then burned—not exactly the greenest thing around. And the remaining 10% or so simply live out the rest of their lives in landfills. So, just in the US, that’s about 30 million tires a year retiring to landfills.

Now, before getting back to that, let me introduce you to another issue. Slopes, levees, retaining walls, marine walls, many mining and industrial project applications, and more are in need of reinforcements. These reinforcements are typically constructed with concrete and metal. Concrete and metal production are two very big contributors to global warming and pollution of various sorts. Replacing the concrete is a bigger challenge, but there is a good solution to replacing the metal.

A green startup, ArmaTerra® Georeinforcing, has a solution. Founded by geotechnical engineer Mike Merrill, ArmaTerra offers a greener and cheaper and more effective geoeinforcement option. After decades working in this field, Mike “patented a way to use whole tires, side walls, and tire treads in various configurations to replace metal and polymer based georeinforcing elements,” an article on sister site CleanTechnica notes.

After connecting with Sergio Nevel, ArmaTerra was formed in 2011. Despite coming a long way, however, ArmaTerra got rolling at a horrible time when it comes to getting cleantech investment. If you follow the cleantech investment environment much (I do), you know that capital-intensive cleantech startups simply cannot get funding these days, no matter how good the potential is. As a result, ArmaTerra is left with a great alternative to a major industry, patents, and a clear business plan… but not the big investors it needs. ArmaTerra even won the Green Building Category of the Western Division of the 2013 CleanTech Open competition, yet it pulling in an investor at this time in history (as I already noted) is essentially impossible.

The solution it has come up with is to raise funds on crowdfunding platform IndieGogo. If you want to help get this important green solution rolling, be sure to head on over to the IndieGogo page, learn more, and pledge your support. Of course, there are plenty of goodies to entice you.

This article was supported by ArmaTerra.

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